August 09, 2018
Supreme hearing for Motutapu monopoly claim
Ngai Tai ki Tamaki has won approval from the Supreme Court to appeal its case for a monopoly on tourism activities on Motutapu Island.
Chair James Brown says the iwi is upset the Department of Conservation continues to grant concessions to existing operators, rather than take into account a Treaty of Waitangi settlement acknowledging it as mana whenua of the island.
He says previous judgments have been lost on technicalities, where the courts have acknowledged Ngai Tai’s status but allowed the existing situation to continue.
The iwi wants to test the strength of the Conservation Act requirement for the department to give effect to the Treaty of Waitangi, rather than the weaker alternative of having regard to the treaty.
"Terms like manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, these are 'give effect' terms as opposed to 'have regard' terms. Generally our view in the High Court and Court of Appeal is they wanted us to stay in the 'have regard' box, and that they will continue to have regard for us regardless of our settlement and they will continue on with business as usual," Mr Brown says.
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